Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tonight: Public invited to WMATA workshop to discuss bicycle, pedestrian improvements

Bikes at Takoma Metro
Originally uploaded by rllayman
(from the WMATA website)

Metro is hosting a public workshop on Wednesday, July 22, to obtain input from riders on how to improve bicycle and pedestrian access for people who bike or walk to Metro.

Metro planners are conducting a bicycle and pedestrian study this year to evaluate existing and projected bicycle and pedestrian demand and access to stations, and propose facilities to improve bicycle storage, such as key swipe-card entry bicycle cages in parking lots and double-deck parking for bicycles, as well as to identify “walk gaps” within ½ mile of stations.

Anyone interested in offering their input, including occasional bicyclists, walkers and people who are unsure about biking or walking to Metro, is encouraged to attend the workshop or provide feedback through the project Web site, which will be available next week.

The workshop will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. with a presentation at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 22, at Metro Headquarters, Lobby Level Meeting Room, 600 5th Street, NW, Washington, DC.

One of the main purposes of the study is to look at where Metro can make improvements to bicycle access where there is capacity to do so. “Metro doesn’t allow bicycles on Metrorail during rush hours because we don’t have the capacity for them during those busy times of day,” said Nat Bottigheimer, Metro’s Assistant General Manager of Planning and Joint Development. “We want the public’s help to identify opportunities for better accommodating cyclists at Metrorail stations, whether at the beginning or end of their trip. We welcome any suggestions for how we can do that.”

Earlier this year, Metro began replacing 350 old bicycle racks and installing an additional 300 new racks at Metrorail stations throughout the system as part of an effort to accommodate more cyclists who are using the Metrorail and Metrobus system.

Between 2002 and 2007, the number of cyclists biking to a rail station during the morning rush hours increased 60 percent to 1,550. With changes in land use, higher gas prices and constraints on parking, that number is expected to rise significantly during the next 25 years.

Metro has identified $45 million in bicycle and pedestrian improvements between 2011 and 2020 as part of its capital needs inventory, with investments focused on maintaining existing bicycle facilities, increasing bicycle parking capacity and improving connections to stations from local communities.

-- Metro’s Bike ‘N Ride program

Other resources:

-- Ideas for making bicycling irresistible in DC (this blog)
-- More Metro Improvement Ideas (Washcycle)
-- Public Workshop on Metro’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Facility Planning Study (Washcycle)
-- Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany (paper by Professor John Pucher of Rutgers University)
-- Momentum - The Magazine For Self Propelled People! (magazine on bicycling as part of your normal everyday existence and lifestyle)

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